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Mumbai Bomb Blasts:WILL GOVERNMENT ACT TOUGH? by Bobby Srinivas,27 July 2006 Print E-mail


New Delhi, 27 July 2006

Mumbai Bomb Blasts


By Bobby Srinivas

The recent devastating Mumbai commuter train bomb blasts have utterly shaken the nation.  Though Mumbaikars have taken such upheavals in their stride, many questions and doubts have arisen. Newspapers and media continue with the news story and speculations of those responsible for this crime.  The first impulse, whether justified or not, was to suspect our neighbours, i.e., the military dictatorship having a hand in such dastardly acts. Kargil intrusion, attack on Parliament, the Kandahar Indian Airlines hijack are just a few reminders for this suspicion.

A redeeming feature is the popular Indian perception that the people of Pakistan do not subscribe to such hostile acts.  The recent people-to-people contacts have demonstrated the fund of goodwill on both sides.  So when Pakistan is mentioned it means the Establishment or the military junta. 

A question arises: Is our Government willing and able to act tough?  We know the US administration’s tough retaliation after they experienced 9/11.  We know how Israel as an island in a sea of hostility, with its tough posture, is able to protect its citizens.  Though these may not be profound examples for us to follow or be able to follow, it is still open to debate if succeeding governments have taken note of the continuous signals of hostility that we have received during the past several decades and acted upon them. 

The general perception in India is that it is inconceivable that an Indian can dare to do subversive activities or to start explosions in a Pakistan city.  It is also a general perception that Pakistan through its ISI starts such subversive activity with aplomb in India and gets away with it.  The world community (read America and Britain) is aware of the ISI activity of pushing terrorists into India particularly in Kashmir. They have kept silent and looked the other way as it had helped them, America and Britain, albeit vicariously in their geopolitical scheming. 

Until recently these Big Boys would not even adequately condemn such terrorist activities.  Only after 9/11 when Pakistan with American arm twisting agreed to a U-turn vis-à-vis the Taliban in Afghanistan that Pakistan establishment agreed to ‘condemn’ terrorist activities except in Kashmir which they continue to term as ‘fight for freedom!’  For these crocodile tears American President Bush sent Pakistan a cheque for a million dollars ‘as aid.’

The perpetrators of terrorism in India find a safe haven in Pakistan!  It is believed that Dawood Ebrahim author of the 1993 Bombay blasts is safely ensconced in Karachi though Pakistan authorities stoutly deny his presence there and pretend total ignorance of Ebrahim’s stay in Pakistan. His daughter is married to a Pakistan Cricket celebrity’s son.  At the fabulous reception Pakistan leaders wisely stayed away.  If they had participated they would have exposed themselves as supporting Dawood’s criminal activities in India and also admitting his presence in Pakistan!  Ebrahim must have been there in disguise! Former Chief Vigilance Commissioner N.Vittal traces the 1993 Bombay blasts to corruption in various government enforcement agencies that allowed such large quantities of RDX to be brought freely into the city.

In January1971 when an Indian Airlines Fokker Friendship plane, on its flight from Jammu to Delhi, was hijacked to Lahore, the then Pakistan Prime Minister Bhutto received the hijackers as heroes.  Though the passengers were given safe transit and allowed to travel by road to India, the hijacked plane was set ablaze.  It was reported that, after the hijacked plane landed in Lahore, the ISI had handed over to the hijackers enough explosives for this purpose.  The scene of the aircraft in flames was nationally televised in Pakistan as though this was a great heroic and victorious achievement!  This was perhaps the ‘last straw’ for Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the subsequent fast moving events leading to break-up of Pakistan.  Bangladesh was born.  The comical part of the episode was that Pakistan claimed the hijack was staged by India as a ploy to discredit Pakistan!

The 1999 Indian Airlines flight 814 from Katmandu was hijacked to Kandahar in Afghanistan, when to India’s great shame our then Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh took terrorists Maulana Masood Azhar and Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh lodged in Srinagar jail to Kandahar to get our Indian passengers held as hostages to be released.  These terrorists gleefully went from Kandahar to Pakistan where they were warmly welcomed. They restarted their nefarious activities and returned several times with more terrorists.  It is reported Omar Sheikh was responsible for murder of the kidnapped American journalist Daniel Pearl. 

When the former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee went to Lahore on his peace mission to meet Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, General Musharraf as army chief refused to attend the function as according to protocol he would have had to salute the visiting Indian prime minister!  

There are other stories of Pakistan authorities warmly welcoming those individuals who caused terror and mayhem in India.  There was this Kassim Rizvi, chief of the Razakar hoodlums in Nizam’s Hyderabad in the late 1940s.  He was a law unto himself and a terror during the tumultuous days following Independence.  He used terror in trying to prevent Hyderabad’s accession to India.  During the 1948 Police Action, Rizvi was captured but was smuggled out to Pakistan through corruption in our bureaucratic ranks. He was warmly welcomed in Pakistan and well rehabilitated. 

Mir Laik Ali was Nizam’s Prime Minister prior to the Police Action in 1948.  He stalled all negotiations for Nizam,s accession to India and surreptitiously transferred 200 million rupees (of those days) of Hyderabad government’s cash balance in a British bank to Pakistan.  This enabled Pakistan to buy arms to attack India, in Kashmir after the State had acceded to India.  After the Police Action Laik Ali was under house arrest, but managed to escape with his family, servants and pets to Pakistan!  He got an immediate high-ranking employment with Pakistan government as adviser to Defense Ministry.  He lived in constant fear while traveling abroad, of being captured by Indian authorities to face criminal charges in India.  Once traveling from Karachi to London Laik Ali wanted an assurance from the aircraft pilot that the flight was in the correct direction to London and not going to Delhi!

In the present instance of Mumbai bomb blasts, General Musharraf has stoutly denied any Pakistan hand.  In fact, his reaction to Indian suspicion has been rather sober.  How much of this denial can be relied upon.  He himself has been a victim of a murderous attempt on his life.  A doubt arises if he can contain the terrorist activities emanating from his territory even if he is serious and not merely pretending to please the American administration. 

Given the above anecdotes and incidents, it would appear Pakistan has created over the decades a Frankenstein monster through their Hate India agenda.  How will they now subdue this monster?  If President Musharraf had the courage, earnestness and ability to reverse Pakistan’s Taliban policy, he can likewise reverse their India policy to one of genuine friendship.  One of the earnest things to do will be to remove any suspicion of terrorist training camps on their soil and completely stop all anti-India programmes and propaganda.---INFA

 (Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)

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